3 Most Likely Destinations for Danielle Hunter Next Season
The Minnesota Vikings will be changing up their defense for the 2022 NFL season. Newly-hired head coach Kevin O'Connell announced in a press conference last week that the Vikings will use a three-man front on defense going forward.
The change on defense could lead to the Vikings moving on from certain players, including defensive end Danielle Hunter. After all, there has been a lot of talk about Minnesota moving on from the former All-Pro defender over the last year or so.
Not only does Hunter not really fit the new scheme, but injuries have held him to just seven games over the last two seasons. That's led to rumors of the Vikings potentially trading him and his $26.1 million cap hit away.
Here's a look at the three most likely trade destinations for Hunter.
Danielle Hunter Trade Destinations
1. New York Jets
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh made it clear at the beginning of February that he'd look to see the team's pass rush improve over the offseason. One easy way to do that is by making a trade for Hunter, who has 60.5 sacks in 85 career games. The Jets have over $44.7 million in cap space, according to Spotrac, so they won't have an issue fitting in his contract. They also have nine draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to entice the Vikings — including Picks No. 4 and 10. It's a win-win deal for both sides because the Jets get an elite pass-rusher while the Vikings get some much-needed cap relief and draft picks in the process.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
The 2021 NFL season was supposed to be the start of brighter times for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but poor play on both sides of the ball led to them missing the postseason once again. If the Jaguars want to be taken seriously defensively next year, acquiring Hunter could do the trick. His contract won't be a problem with Jacksonville boasting over $56 million in projected cap space. While the Jaguars won't move the first overall pick for Hunter, they have 11 other draft picks for the Vikings to choose from, with four in the first four rounds. If Minnesota is okay with settling for quantity over quality, the Jaguars would make an ideal trade partner.
3. Cleveland Browns
Expectations are high for the Cleveland Browns ahead of the 2022 NFL season and Hunter is the type of player who could help them achieve those goals. One reason why a trade could materialize is that the dynamic defender has a pretty big connection to the Browns: head coach Kevin Stefanski. The latter was an assistant with the Vikings for the first five seasons of Hunter's career and even though Stefanski coached other positions while with Minnesota, even the smallest connection can be a difference-maker. The Browns also have more than enough cap space to pull a deal off, as well as seven picks in the first five rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft. Bringing in Hunter will help Cleveland compete for a Super Bowl while giving the Vikings some tools to help build towards the future.
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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.